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Opening 2013 Paddling Season with Badfish SUP on the South Platte River

Submitted by on February 4, 2013 – 10:35 pm One Comment

Badfish SUP on South Platte River at Kersey

February 2, 2013. I finally started my 2013 paddling season with the Badfish SUP on the South Platte River. I made 1.5 miles upstream from Kersey. It was a quite intense hour of paddling followed by 15 minutes of lazy downriver floating.

The river is pretty low (~500cfs at Kersey) this winter, but it was deep enough to use a center fin on my SUP. Paddling upstream without the fin would be really challenging. I had to drag Badfish over shallow only a couple of time when landing on gravel bars. The river has the same character all the way down to Kunner. It is shallower and faster upstream of the confluence with the Poudre River. So, when paddling SUP from Evans to Kersey you can probably find a few spots to shallow for a fin.

I was not alone on the river. I met a couple in canoe going downriver from Miliken (hwy 60) to Kersey. Earlier that day Jeremy Rodgers was training upstream of Fort Lupton – “Gage said 280 and it was just fine or slightly more than barely enough!”

It was good to be on water again. I had a long break in my paddling, more than 1.5 months. We had some winter weather in northern Colorado and all local lakes are frozen, but the main reason of my absence from paddling was a long and nasty cold.

The 11.6′ Badfish MCIT inflatable SUP was just added to my paddling fleet. MCIT stands for Multi-Chamber Inflatable Technology. My motivation or excuses if you prefer for another paddleboard were following:

  • A very stable inflatable SUP is more suitable for winter paddling than my Bark expediiton SUP.
  • I have some travel ideas with SUP and, also, for running a shuttle on a bike like I am doing with a packraft. It will be a challenge to carry that big and heavy pack on a bike though.
  • I would like to try some easy whitewater.

I ordered Badfish from Colorado Kayak Supply, but it was shipped directly from Boardworks in CA. It arrived without any manual or instructions. The air pump provided is the volume piston pump. I almost killed myself trying to pump the main chamber to recommended 14psi. I reached about 11 psi. I had to order another high pressure pump.

Related posts:
SUP on the South Platte River – Opening Winter Paddling Season
South Platte River below Denver, Colorado – GPS/photo river guide with links to flow data

My stand up paddling picture gallery is growing:

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